- Associated Press - Monday, July 31, 2017

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - As proposals to change the nation’s health insurance landscape continue to move swiftly, a Maryland commission created to monitor potential changes to the Affordable Care Act is preparing to meet for the first time.

The Maryland Health Insurance Coverage Protection Commission is scheduled to meet Tuesday in Annapolis.

Democrats who control the legislature in Maryland created the commission by legislation this year, out of concern that President Donald Trump and the GOP-led Congress would repeal the Affordable Care Act. Republicans on Capitol Hill haven’t managed to do that yet, but the White House is insisting that the Senate keep trying, and Trump’s administration is signaling that he is ready to end federally-required payments to insurers this week to force congressional action.

At Tuesday’s meeting in Maryland, Carolyn Quattrocki, a deputy attorney general who once served as head of Maryland’s health care exchange, is scheduled to provide an overview on the impact federal action is having on insurance coverage in the state.

Haley Nicholson, a senior police specialist on health and human services with the National Conference of State Legislatures, is scheduled to discuss how other states are responding. Bradley Herring, of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, will focus on private health insurance and Maryland’s hospital waiver.

The commission will make recommendations for state and local action on how to best handle any federal changes, reporting to the General Assembly at the end of each year.

The Maryland law that created the panel went into effect without Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s signature. Doug Mayer, Hogan’s spokesman, says the governor has appointed three panel members, and Maryland’s health secretary and the state’s insurance commissioner plan to attend the meeting.

Last week, Hogan was one of 10 governors who opposed a pared-down repeal bill and urged Senate leaders to engage in a bipartisan overhaul of Obamacare. In June, he opposed legislation that would have phased out money the federal government provides to states that expanded Medicaid coverage.

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